How to Identify a False Prophet
It is very difficult to “identify a false prophet.” Simply put, for most people, if you are different from me, you are a false prophet. This is simply unacceptable. We need criteria by which to judge what is false and what is true, and we cannot use anything except Scripture itself. If I could emphasize anything here, it is that we must use Scripture correctly exegeted (interpreted, explained, and understood).
In my book on False Prophets, I identify three methods or forms that we can use to identify a false prophet, and I will repeat them here (these posts were basically taken from my book in Spanish on the matter).
We can say that such and such doctrine is the true doctrine, and anything else is false. Actually, that would be the fundamentals of the faith. In part that is true. But unfortunately as evidenced today by so many examples, many false prophets have adopted these “fundamentals” or these core doctrines as their own, but they are still false prophets. The problem comes in they refute the Bible axiom that sound doctrine produces correct conduct. They have sound doctrine but don’t believe in it because their life is still filled with sin, and sin which contaminates whole churches because they are leaders.
The issue is that people lie. Unfortunately, ministers lie. And when a good pastor tells you the truth, or when a liar pastor tells you something that likewise looks like the truth, it is hard to discern.
Purpose: These studies are basically for God’s people that are having problems with their church and/or pastor. These are Bible expositions so that we can understand clearly what is going on, and identify and get away from a false prophet, even if he tries to identify himself as a really good man of God.
For an overview of this, see
False Prophets and Teachers Overview
We can discern a false prophet by:
- His fruit – What he does or produces by his life and ministry.
- His methods – How he does what he does.
- His Character – What he is, or what is in his heart (as seen by the outworking of his life).
Finally, we will look at our defense against false prophets.
The rest of these posts (beginning with “FP:”) will explore many characteristics of the false prophet.